Championship

Opinion: Lacina Traore is worth a punt this summer

Opinion: Lacina Traore is worth a punt this summer

Leeds United’s transfer window has transformed from one which was initially characterised by optimism and ambition for the season ahead under Marcelo Bielsa’s leadership, to one of typical disappointment and frustration.

With 10 days remaining before the Whites kick off their Championship campaign, it’s fair to say that Leeds United supporters have every reason to be concerned about their club’s lack of transfer activity thus far.

One of the main areas which the supporters were hoping would be addressed during the window concerns their lack of convincing options at centre forward; as of yet, nothing has been done to address that particular issue.

Whether their lack of activity in the market is borne out of a lack of financial backing from Andre Radrizzani or simply a lack of availability of the type of striker they are looking for is unclear, but one thing is for sure: Leeds have to sign a new centre-forward before the window slams shut if they wish to challenge for promotion.

With that in mind, Bielsa would be wise to cut out a variable in order to enhance his chances of completing a deal by targetting a free agent rather than a contracted player, and one centre-forward he should have on his radar is Lacina Traore.

The 6ft 6in striker was recently released by Monaco after failing to find the back of the net in 18 appearances last season, 8 of which were starts.

That particular record makes for grim viewing for any potential suitors whom are entertaining the possibility of signing him this summer, but his history in the game suggests his failure to find the net in Ligue 1 was a confidence issue rather than a technical one.

Wherever Traore has played his trade he has normally averaged 1 goal every 3 games: 18 from 45 at Anzhi Makhachkala, 19 from 63 at CFR Cluj and 18 from 39 at Kuban Krasnodar serve to highlight his impressive record in Europe.

But although Traore is a striker by trade, it’s his domineering physical presence at the spearhead of the attack rather than his finishing ability that has enabled him to become a success – barring his first major blip last season.

In a division as physically demanding as the Championship there’s no doubt that Leeds would benefit from having a player of Traore’s stature leading the line, so Bielsa should not hesitate to offer the Ivory Coast international the opportunity to resurrect his career at Elland Road next season.

Leeds fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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